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#DayAgainstDenial: Thousands Demand the Senate Stand Up to Trump’s Climate Denial Cabinet

Re-posted from GREENPEACE, January 10, 2017

by Ryan Schleeter

Donald Trump has nominated a slate of climate deniers and literal oil CEOs to lead his administration — but the people are fighting back.

If President-elect Donald Trump thought he would be able to steamroll the American people and appoint any science-denying white dude he wanted to his cabinet, then the people just proved him wrong.

Yesterday, thousands of people across all 50 states took action as part of the #DayAgainstDenial, demanding the Senate reject Trump’s nominations to lead the Departments of State, Energy, Interior, and the EPA — all of whom reject basic climate science. Already these demonstrations are having an impact: at least one Senate office said this was the largest meeting with voters they’ve ever had.

Take a look at these scenes from the people-powered movement to resist Trump.

Read more and see photos here.

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Local news (below) by Christine Skolnik, Environmental Critique

On January 9th, people all over the country, under the auspices of 350.org, gathered to send a message to U. S. Senators: “Reject Donald Trump’s reckless climate denying cabinet nominees.”

Here in Chicago, members of local 350 chapters and allied organizations, headed by 350 Kishwaukee, protested at the John C. Kluczynski Federal Building at 230 South Dearborn Street. Approximately 120 people gathered to hear speakers and voice their vehement objections to the climate denier cabinet. Protestor representatives, organized by 350 Kishwaukee’s Charles Ryan, also met with the staff of U. S. Senators, Tammy Duckworth and Richard Durbin, and delivered a petition urging them to stand strong on the climate, and fight back against these dangerous cabinet picks:

  • Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon, for Secretary of State
  • Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator
  • Ex-Gov. Rick Perry for Secretary of Energy
  • Ryan Zinke for Department of Interior

“The climate is changing, and anyone who denies it shouldn’t be in the White House cabinet.”

It’s up to us tell the Senate to stop these nominations.

Contact your Senators and tell them to fight Trump’s Climate Denial Cabinet.

Senator Dick Durbin’s Office: http://www.durbin.senate.gov/contact/

More information here: https://secure3.convio.net/gpeace/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2057&s_src=actions

And here: https://twitter.com/hashtag/RejectRex?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

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Check out these regional 350 Chapters who signed on and participated in the Day Against Denial.

350Kishwaukee

Chicago 350

Elgin Green Groups350 (EGG350 for short!)

350 Indiana-Calumet350 Indiana-Calumet

Forest City 350

Text and photo sources:

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/dayagainstdenial-thousands-demand-the-senate-stand-up-to-trumps-climate-denial-cabinet/

https://www.facebook.com/events/1230987060303459/

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Rex Tillerson’s Maverick Oil Diplomacy

As the largest oil company in the world not owned by a state, Exxon has had to work in “underexplored regions with higher risk, but higher reward potential,” as Mr. Tillerson, 64, said at a shareholder meeting last year.

After Mr. Tillerson’s nomination was floated by Mr. Trump, Reince Priebus, who will be the White House chief of staff, echoed a saying coined in a speech by former Vice President Dick Cheney: “The good Lord didn’t see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected regimes friendly to the United States.”

Russia

In 2011, Mr. Tillerson engineered a multibillion dollar joint venture with the Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft. Exxon received the right to look for oil in the Black and Kara Seas alongside Rosneft, in return for giving the Russian company minority stakes in Exxon projects in Texas, the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere.

Read more here.

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Aldermen Propose Plan to Divest From Fossil Fuel Companies

Local lawmakers and activists are pushing for Chicago to join a rapidly growing list of cities worldwide that have committed to the fossil fuel divestment movement.

Source: Aldermen Propose Plan to Divest From Fossil Fuel Companies

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Transition questionnaire alarms Energy Department employees.

President-elect Trump’s transition team has circulated an unusual 74-point questionnaire that requests the names of all employees and contractors who have attended domestic or international climate change policy conferences, as well as emails associated with the conferences.

The questionnaire appears targeted at climate science research and clean energy programs.

Document: Transition Questionnaire Raises Concerns

Energy Department employees, who shared the questionnaire with The New York Times and spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, described the questionnaire as unprecedented and worrying.

“These questions don’t just indicate an attack on civil servants here in Washington,” said an Energy Department employee. “They amount to a witch hunt in D.O.E.’s 17 national labs, where scientists have the independence to do their work — yet here are questions that are reminiscent of an inquisition rather than actual curiosity about how the labs work.”

The questionnaire asks for lists of employees involved in key climate change programs, including all those who have attended United Nations climate change conferences. It also asks for lists of employees involved in designing a metric known as the Social Cost of Carbon, a figure used by the Obama administration to measure the economic impact of carbon dioxide pollution, and to justify the economic cost of climate regulations.

It specifically asks which Energy Department programs are essential to meeting the goals of President Obama’s climate change agenda, which Mr. Trump has vowed to roll back.

Interactive Graphic

How Trump Can Influence Climate Change

A Trump administration could weaken or do away with many of the Obama-era policies focused on greenhouse gas emissions.

OPEN Interactive Graphic

It includes several questions for the Energy Information Administration, the department’s statistics office, which also measures the nation’s carbon dioxide pollution, asking for justification of its numbers.

“In the Annual Energy Outlook 2016, E.I.A. assumed that the Clean Power Plan should be in the reference case despite the fact that the reference case is based on existing laws and regulations,” the questionnaire reads. “Why did the E.I.A. make that assumption, which seems to be atypical of past forecasts?”

And it includes several questions focused on the national scientific laboratories, including queries on highest salaries, and outside evaluation of research.

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Trump’s pick for environment agency chief sued government over climate rules

Nature | News

by Jeff Tollefson

Oklahoma attorney-general Scott Pruitt has sought to reverse federal limits on greenhouse-gas emissions and air pollution.

07 December 2016

Rights & Permissions

Image: John Taggart/Bloomberg/Getty

Scott Pruitt has questioned the science underlying climate change.

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Oklahoma attorney-general Scott Pruitt to lead the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Pruitt, who must be confirmed by the US Senate, is an ardent opponent of federal regulations to curb climate change and has questioned the science underlying global warming. He is one of dozens of state officials who have mounted a legal challenge to President Barack Obama’s limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants — regulations that Trump has promised to repeal.

That case is pending review by the US Supreme Court. If the court agrees to hear the case, the outcome could hinge on whom Trump nominates to fill a vacancy on the nine-member panel of judges. Some experts say that the EPA itself could also seek to repeal the regulations after Trump takes office.

In May, Pruitt made his views on climate science clear in a guest editorial in the National Review that he wrote with Alabama attorney-general Luther Strange. “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind,” the pair wrote. “That debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress. It should not be silenced with threats of prosecution. Dissent is not a crime.”

Strong reactions

Environmentalists blasted Trump for choosing Pruitt, whom they say has put the interests of the fossil-fuel industry before those of the environment and the people of Oklahoma. As well as challenging Obama’s climate regulations, Pruitt has sued the EPA to halt a series of regulations intended to keep air and water clean. In doing so, he has often worked in concert with the same oil, gas and coal companies that he would regulate as EPA chief.

“It’s hard to imagine a more alarming person to run the nation’s Environmental Protection Agency,” says Jeremy Symons, associate vice-president for climate and political affairs at the Environmental Defense Fund, an activist group in New York City. “It’s an unprecedented gamble with an agency that has protected the air we breathe and the water we drink across Republican and Democratic administrations for more than 40 years.”

But Pruitt will have plenty of support from industry officials — many of whom have long asserted that the EPA has overreached its regulatory authority, particularly on climate change.

Scott Segal, a lawyer at the firm Bracewell in Washington DC, which has represented many industry interests, calls Pruitt “a measured and articulate student of environmental law and policy”. Segal adds that Pruitt understands and respects states’ roles in environmental policy, and that his decisions to challenge federal regulations should not disqualify him for the EPA job.

“There is no conflict in faithfully representing your state on litigation dealing with rules of general applicability and then serving your nation as a federal administrative official,” Segal says.

To win Senate approval for the EPA post, Pruitt would require only a simple majority of 51 senators in a body where Republicans will hold at least 51 seats. (A 52nd seat is up for grabs in a 10 December run-off election in Louisiana.) This means that Republicans should have enough votes to approve Pruitt if they stick together.

Nature
doi:10.1038/nature.2016.21127

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Before the Flood-Trailer

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Detroit: The World’s Coolest Couch

Reblogged on WordPress.com

Source: Detroit: The World’s Coolest Couch

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